Mr Green reuses our shelves

Filed in Blog by on October 22, 2010 10 Comments
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fron kitchen storage to bathroom

fron kitchen storage to bathroom

In our old kitchen annexe we had lots of shelving on the walls.

This was to house our recycling and for bulk buys of food and cleaning supplies from our food co-op.

They were those awful cheap shelves which you can buy in Argos or MFI type places; the sort which look great in photo shoots with a couple of light weight ornaments on them, but which actually topple forward in real-life use.

Hence ours were screwed to the walls.

We’d already cut several shelves to size heightwise, so were wondering what to do with our cast offs.

To be honest, they weren’t even Freecycle material as the quality was so poor.

So I came up with a cunning plan!

Our bathroom is lacking a certain something. We have a tiny medicine cabinet for keeping shampoo and toiletries but no other storage in there at all. We have a pedestal sink so can’t store things underneath, there is no surround work surface and I like to keep windowsills as clear as possible; that’s just one of my things – I can’t stand cluttered windowsills.

So I set Mr Green a challenge; to fit a couple of these homeless shelves next to the bath. The bottom shelf would have a store of towels on it; with a downstairs bathroom and an upstairs airing cupboard, it’s not unusual to be enjoying a hot soak only to realise you haven’t got a towel to dry yourself with. If the doorbell goes, you can find yourself in a rather unnerving predicament.

The top shelf, I told him, needed to be bath height to hold all the things that make a bath a decadent and delightful event – ya know, nice soap, a candle, a favourite trashy novel, my naked husband or a glass of wine.

Off Mr Green went to the garage with an assortment of power tools and he emerged a couple of hours later with the shelves in the above photo.

I’m so pleased with it; I would never have been able to buy something to fit exactly into the space, as we have boxed in pipes at floor level, and we’ve found a great reuse for our old shelves!

The remaining ones will probably be used once the play / school room is fully set up.

What about you? What items have you repurposed in your own home? Katy Wok Stanley gave a nightstand a makeover – go and check out the stunning before and after pics.

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. LJayne says:

    Yay for Mr Green.

    When our 3rd child was born we had to switch rooms so the girls could share and our enormous lovely bed, which fitted fine in our old room, suddenly took up ALL the space, our new room being smaller. No room for bedside cabinets or lights or anything.

    So we got wall mounted lights – looks like a hotel lol ! And some shelves I bought for my kitchen and only ever used one for vases, Mr LJ put them up on the small return of wall on my bed side of our bay window. Holds all my reading matter and my favourite knickknacks that I like to keep out of the children’s way. They’d been in the loft for years as the place in my kitchen they were bought for just got filled up with other more important stuff.

  2. Attila says:

    This post reminded me of our paint store in the shed. 20 years ago, my carpenter Father made me a little shelf unit that fitted perfectly between the cooker and the sink in my first council flat. He made it so perfectly that it fitted entirely flush to the wall and the things either side, but could be pulled out for cleaning. But when it stands alone, it looks wonky but completely solid, because the back wall was really wonky. When I moved I put it in the shed (my Dad died not long after he made it and I couldn’t throw it away. And the flat was being remodelled after I moved so it would have been put in a skip.) But now it perfectly serves as a paint store.
    Most of our funiture is second hand and much of it is modified, altered, painted or chopped up and made into something else.

  3. Mrs. Green,

    My bathroom is also missing ANY storage, and I actually like it this way. We have an attractive lidded basket on the floor between the sink and the toilet, and I keep a few extra toilet paper rolls and misc. supplies in there. We also have larger storage, but in the basement. Extra towels are in the closet of our spare bedroom.

    We used to have a sink unit with a large amount of storage, but it was constantly cluttered. We now have a pedestal sink. It forces not to hold onto, (or better yet, not bring home in the first place) extra unnecessary stuff.

    Thanks for the link to The Non-Consumer Advocate!

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

  4. Michelle says:

    That is terrific! I love that you’ve created something very useful out of those old shelves and have kept them from meeting an awful end at the landfill. Very cool!

    Peace,
    Michelle ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Jane says:

    @Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” Love it.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Sounds like a brilliant reuse plan, Lesley – and your room sounds cosy ๐Ÿ™‚
    @Attila: what a beautiful story, Attila – thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
    @Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate: I hear you on not providing TOO much storage, as you point out, this can lead to clutter. But finding yourself without a towel on a winters evening was no joke ๐Ÿ˜€
    @Michelle: Thanks Michelle; Mr G is great at that sort of thing.
    @Jane: It’s a wonderful phrase isn’t it? I think it’s originally a world war II saying. Katy did a series challenge on the phrase which you can read about here: http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/2009/03/use-it-up-wear-it-out-make-it-do-or-do-without-challenge/

  7. sandy says:

    could I borrow him for a couple of day please, i have a few jobs in the bathroom needed, like putting up shelfs for towels, (we too have a downstairs bathroom)

  8. debbie says:

    Repurposing is one of my favorite things! Sounds like you found a perfect solution.
    Came over from SITS to say hi.

  9. Barbara says:

    What a great blog you’ve got here. Very good ideas! Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll be back.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @sandy: Hi Sandy, well he is handy to have around; that’s for sure!
    @debbie: Hi Debbie – welcome! Glad you enjoy repurposing too; it’s so satisfying.
    @Barbara: Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

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